- The 18th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, under the theme of “Partners in Regional Integration”, was held in Madrid, Spain on 26 May 2010 and co-chaired by their Excellencies Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Spain, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission Lady Catherine Ashton and His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam. The Meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers from ASEAN and EU Member States and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
PART I: BUILD A COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL PARTNERSHIP
- The Ministers reaffirmed the unique character of the partnership between the EU and ASEAN, the two regions of the world that are most advanced in regional integration. This is a partnership built on over thirty years of dialogue and co-operation, and based on a spirit of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. It is being supported and reinforced by the Nuremberg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership as well as the Partnership and Co-operation Agreements (PCAs) being negotiated with ASEAN Member States, a process which has gained momentum from the recent signing of the first PCA with Indonesia. The Ministers underlined the potential strategic importance of the partnership representing, as it does, almost one and a quarter billion people. They reaffirmed their shared desire to promote political stability and security, economic progress, justice, democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social equality, peace, and sustainable development in accordance with the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.
- The Ministers resolved to intensify relations further through deepening political engagement and developing a comprehensive co-operation, based in particular on the Plan of Action to Implement the Nuremberg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership for the period 2007-2012. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the EC-ASEAN Co-operation Agreement signed in Kuala Lumpur on 7 March 1980, the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the significant development of co-operation and its diversification into new areas. They commended the outcomes of the Phnom Penh Agenda agreed at the 17th Ministerial Meeting for priorities in implementing the Plan of Action in 2009-2010 (Annex 2). They agreed on new priority activities under the Plan of Action for 2011-2012 (Annex 1). They tasked senior officials to report on further progress, as well as propose new directions for ASEAN-EU co-operation after 2012, at the next ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting.
A. Supporting ASEAN’s wider regional role
- The EU underlined its continuing support for ASEAN’s central role in driving wider co-operation in the region. In this regard, the Ministers expressed support for ASEAN’s two-pronged approach for accelerating its integration and community building efforts while intensifying its external relations including through the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference Plus One, the ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asia Summit. The Ministers agreed that these processes should be mutually reinforcing and therefore encouraged enhanced links between the ASEAN Political-Security Community and the ARF in order to achieve synergies on issues of common concern. They also looked forward to the implementation of the ARF Vision Statement in order to further strengthen the Forum’s relevance and effectiveness.
- The Ministers welcomed the progress in amending the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia (TAC) to allow the EU to join the Treaty. They looked forward to the EU’s accession to the TAC, on completion of the necessary procedures. The EU emphasised that its application to accede to the TAC had been intended as a signal of support for ASEAN, and for integration initiatives in the wider region, and the benefits that these could bring in terms of enhanced stability, security and economic prosperity. The EU, as the first Dialogue Partner to establish informal relations with ASEAN in 1972, wished to engage further with the region in order to help achieve these benefits.
B. Exchanging views on developments in ASEAN and the EU
- The Ministers welcomed ASEAN’s continued progress in regional integration following adoption of the ASEAN Charter, in particular the efforts to realise the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The Ministers noted the full implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the entry into force of the ASEAN-China FTA, ASEAN-Republic of Korea FTA, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement on 1 January 2010. They also noted the launching of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation on 24 March 2010, establishing a pool of foreign-currency reserves ($120 billion) among ASEAN, China, Japan and Republic of Korea.
- The Ministers took note of the outcome of the 16th ASEAN Summit in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 8-9 April 2010 particularly on the commitment to implement the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community by 2015 and the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Connectivity. ASEAN welcomed the EU’s assistance in promoting and developing connectivity in the region including in air, sea and land transportation links and looked forward to deepening the exchange of views with the EU in light of its advanced physical infrastructures, communication systems and sophisticated technologies.
- The Ministers agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation in promoting and protecting human rights. They expressed their satisfaction at the growing dialogue on human rights between the EU and countries of Asia and discussed the possibility of working together to address the growing spectrum of human rights issues. The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). In this regard, they supported increased dialogue between the EU and ASEAN. The Ministers welcomed the recent establishment of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). ASEAN welcomed the EU’s support in achieving the mission of the ACWC.
- The Ministers noted the interest of EU to explore the possibility of engaging in defence cooperation with ASEAN.
- The Ministers exchanged views on Myanmar. They took note of the political developments in the country including preparations for the general elections to be held this year, with the EU raising the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi. Both sides emphasized that the political and socio-economic challenges facing the country should be resolved through engaging all stakeholders in an inclusive political process leading to national reconciliation and to peaceful transition to civilian government. Therefore they called on the Government of Myanmar to make the forthcoming elections a credible, transparent, democratic and inclusive process. They believed that the early release of those under detention would contribute to making the elections more inclusive and help bring about a peaceful political transition. They also encouraged the Government of Myanmar to continue to engage in meaningful manner with the international community, including ASEAN and the UN.
- The Ministers welcomed the intent of the EU to step up its dialogue with the authorities of the country and other key stakeholders by sending a delegation to Myanmar to explore the possibilities for developing its engagement. Both sides agreed to continue their dialogue including on how to step up assistance to the people of Myanmar in order to contribute to the urgently needed improvement of social and economic conditions. The Ministers affirmed their commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Myanmar. In that context, they reiterated that the future of Myanmar lies in the hands of all of its people.
- With regard to developments in the EU, ASEAN welcomed the ratification and entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the recent appointments of the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. ASEAN hoped that these appointments will bring about regular and effective consultations between ASEAN and the EU. Furthermore, Ministers noted the EU’s briefing on their 2020 Strategy aimed at turning the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.
- The Ministers welcomed the recovery of both regions from the global financial and economic crisis. In spite of the positive developments, both sides called for close cooperation to achieve a more balanced international financial architecture, including a more equitable representation of developing countries, and more effective global governance. The Ministers agreed that by promoting trade, investment and financial links between ASEAN and the EU, growth and prosperity would be enhanced in both regions. Thus, they welcomed the commitment to strengthen trade relations further between the two regions, and the renewed engagement to achieve that, including the launch of this year’s bilateral FTA negotiations between the EU and individual ASEAN Member States. These agreements could provide a stepping stone for a future agreement in the regional context. Ministers encouraged the relevant senior officials on both sides to work together to examine further ways in which the EU and ASEAN could strengthen their economic relationship in view of the AEM-EU Consultations to be held in Danang, Vietnam in August 2010.
C. Working together in ASEM
- The Ministers welcomed the strategic importance of the ASEM as a vehicle to promote partnership for dialogue and co-operation between Asia and Europe. In this regard, the Ministers reaffirmed the mutually reinforcing roles of the ASEAN-EU Dialogue and ASEM in maintaining peace and stability as well as promoting conditions conducive to sustainable economic and social development for the benefit of their peoples. The Ministers would continue to work to ensure that both processes achieved their maximum potential. They also noted that Belgium would host the 8th ASEM Summit on 4-5 October 2010 with the theme ‘Improving the Quality of Life: Achieving greater wellbeing and more dignity for all citizens’, deepening and reinforcing the ASEM dialogue towards a closer partnership mode.
D. Joining efforts to address global issues
Alliance of Civilizations Initiative
- Ministers reaffirmed their support for the UN Alliance of Civilisation (AOC) initiative and welcomed the efforts made by the UN SG and the High Representative for the AOC in promoting mutual understanding and respect among civilisations. The adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/14 on the AOC on 10 November 2009 supports a wide range of activities and allows the initiative to be more operative. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the growing community of the Group of Friends of the AOC and the results of the two Global Forums held in Madrid in 2008 and in Istanbul in 2009. They welcomed the next Global Forum of the AOC in Brazil on 28-29 May 2010, as a new opportunity to foster inclusive dialogues and to develop synergies in working in favour of common values and shared interests among diverse cultures and communities.
- The Ministers expressed support for the implementation of the 64th UNGA Resolution (A/RES/64/81) “Promoting Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace” and the interfaith dialogue initiatives in the UN. They took note of the recent adoption of the Manila Declaration and Programme of Action on interfaith dialogue and cooperation for peace and development at the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting.
- The Ministers recalled that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a crucial instrument for maintaining and reinforcing international peace, security and stability. In this context, Ministers welcomed the efforts of the 2010 NPT Review Conference to achieve a substantive and balanced outcome on all three mutually-reinforcing pillars of the Treaty of non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime by promoting the universalisation of all relevant Treaties and fulfilling their obligations under international disarmament and non-proliferation treaties.
- The Ministers reiterated that for the NPT goals to be achieved, all NPT State Parties must adhere to their obligations under the NPT. They also called upon all States that are outside of the NPT to accede to the Treaty as Non-nuclear Weapons States. ASEAN emphasised its Statement delivered at the 2010 NPT Conference on 4 May 2010. Ministers expressed appreciation to the Philippines for its able and effective Presidency of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
- The Ministers called upon all States that have yet to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to do so, without delay and conditions, particularly the nine remaining States listed in Annex II, with a view to securing the Treaty’s early entry into force since the Treaty forms an essential part of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The Ministers welcomed the intention of Indonesia to advance the ratification of the CTBT.
- The Ministers called upon all concerned States to begin with negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on a Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
- The Ministers recognised the importance of the Treaty of Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in contributing towards global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and peace and security in the region. ASEAN encouraged the early accession by the Nuclear Weapons States to the Protocol of the Treaty in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Treaty.
- The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to curbing illegal trade and excessive accumulation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in accordance with the UN programme of action on SALW. The Ministers underlined the need for all Member States to fully engage in the upcoming Biannual Meeting of States to discuss the UN Programme of Action on SALW. The Ministers agreed to pursue the efforts led by the United Nations to establish international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms. The EU expressed the belief that this should be achieved through an arms trade treaty.
- The Ministers welcomed the offer of the Lao PDR to host the First Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 9 – 12 November 2010 in Vientiane, Lao PDR following its entry into force.
Fight against terrorism
- The Ministers welcomed efforts undertaken by ASEAN and EU Member States to promote counter-terrorism co-operation and enhance human security, through collective and bilateral approaches. They looked forward to the upcoming review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. They tasked the relevant officials to take the necessary steps to implement the Joint Declaration on Co-operation to Combat International Terrorism adopted at the 14th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brussels in January 2003. They agreed to pursue the negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Ministers recognized that measures taken to prevent and counter terrorism must be carried out in accordance with, and full respect for, international law as well as relevant domestic law. The Ministers reiterated their support to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation among regional counter terrorism institutions and agencies such as the Jakarta Law Enforcement Centre for Cooperation (JCLEC), the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT) in Kuala Lumpur and the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok.
- The Ministers recognised the increasing interconnections between terrorism and transnational organised crime and the need for a constant update on strategies, well-targeted objectives, better co-ordinated multilateral efforts and law enforcement. Ministers also agreed that the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime (or “Palermo Convention”) are and the UN Convention Against Corruption (or “Merida Convention”) are the primary tools to address these challenges and are committed to promoting their universal ratification and full implementation.
Sustaining the world economic recovery
- The Ministers exchanged views on how the EU and ASEAN could best help to achieve a sustained and balanced global recovery. Taking into account its economic resilience during the current crisis, Asia could be a major contributor to global economic growth in the coming years, and boosting domestic demand would be important to rebalance growth.
- The Ministers resolved to contribute to reform the global economic and financial architecture in order to safeguard the global economy from future crises, and to promote regional and global economic growth and recovery. They also welcomed the representation and governance reforms of the International Financial Institutions agreed by the G-20 in Pittsburgh in September 2009, to ensure their legitimacy and effectiveness.
- The Ministers reaffirmed the Doha Development Agenda as a priority for both ASEAN and the EU and stressed the importance of achieving an early, ambitious and balanced conclusion at the earliest opportunity. They emphasised the need to ensure that negotiations remain on track. A successful and balanced conclusion of the DDA is crucial in the context of the current global economic weakness and would help reduce protectionism. It would also send an important signal of their governments’ continued belief in and support for strengthening the multilateral trading system. In this regard, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to keep markets open, reject protectionism, refrain from raising new barriers to trade and investment while avoiding the WTO-inconsistent measures. ASEAN Ministers also expressed their appreciation for the EU’s continued support for accession of Lao PDR to the WTO.
Climate change and the environment
- The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change issued at the 16th ASEAN Summit in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. The Ministers affirmed that the best way to achieve a comprehensive post 2012 climate agreement is to pursue a deal under the auspices of the UNFCCC. The Ministers noted the large number of countries associating themselves with the Copenhagen Accord. Ministers acknowledged the need for closer co-operation in environmental conservation, sustainable development and natural resource management, including sustainable management of forest resources and the areas of biodiversity and trans-boundary environmental pollution control and management. In this regard, ASEAN welcomed EU efforts in developing a post-2010 biodiversity policy framework. ASEAN expressed appreciation for the EU’s long-standing support to the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity and underlined its firm commitment to continue its efforts to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of this endeavour, including through contributions by ASEAN Member States to the ASEAN Biodiversity Fund. The Ministers also encouraged further co-operation in relation to coral reefs, fisheries, food security, adaptation to climate change and the implementation of the Manado Oceans Declaration.
- The Ministers, recognising that averting dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system requires the increase in global mean surface temperature to be kept below 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels, underlined their commitment to work together to address climate change and encouraged all UNFCCC Parties to engage constructively and work towards a legally binding global agreement at COP 16/CMP 6 in December 2010.
- ASEAN warmly welcomed the EU’s initiative by introducing, after COP 15, the “Fast Track” financial commitment to provide EUR 2.4 billion to developing countries annually from 2010 – 2012.
- ASEAN called upon the EU to take full account of the specific needs and special situations of ASEAN Member States, particularly the least developed countries in ASEAN and those most affected by climate change, and to support them with adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, transfer of technology, as well as capacity enhancement, to enable them to develop on a low emission pathway.
- While noting that developing countries may undertake actions voluntarily and on the basis of support, the EU encouraged ASEAN to make active contributions to the global efforts to address climate change through the development and implementation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), in accordance with their different national circumstances.
E. Consulting on regional issues of global concern
- Ministers stressed the need to maintain peace and stability in the region as well as the importance of the international non proliferation regime. They urged the DPRK to comply fully with the UNSC Resolutions and decisions and to refrain from actions which could exacerbate the situation and recalled that the DPRK cannot have the status of the nuclear weapon state in accordance with the NPT. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Six-Party Talks as the best means to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. They expressed concern about the 21 April 2010 memorandum issued by the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry on the nuclear issue. They also emphasized the importance of addressing the humanitarian concerns.
- The Ministers reiterated their deep concern over the rising tension following the sinking of the Cheonan and recent publication of the findings of an investigation conducted by Republic of Korea in cooperation with a number of countries. They expressed condolences to the victims and their families. The Ministers called on all parties concerned to exercise restrain and to step up efforts to promote lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
- The Ministers welcomed the start of proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians as a positive step forward and confirmed the urgency of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In line with the Middle East Quartet statement in Moscow on 19 March 2010 they called for urgent progress towards the two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Ministers support the United States’ efforts to ensure negotiations on all final status issues, including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, security and water, respecting previous agreements and understandings. Ministers expressed concern about the situation on the ground, including in East Jerusalem. The Ministers urged the government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, including natural growth, and to dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001. The Ministers remained gravely concerned about the situation in Gaza; they urged the full implementation of UNSCR 1860 and the full respect of international humanitarian law. They reiterated their call for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. They recalled that a comprehensive peace must include a settlement between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon. The Ministers encouraged inter-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas and supported the mediation efforts of Egypt and the Arab League in this respect. The Ministers reiterated their appreciation of the Arab Peace Initiative which offers a framework for the achievement of a comprehensive peace in this region.
- The Ministers noted with deep concern the situation regarding the Iranian nuclear programme and urged Iran to fulfil the obligations set out in UN Security Council Resolutions on this matter. They noted the importance of full and transparent co-operation by Iran with the IAEA. The Ministers expressed their support for a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and underlined the importance to take appropriate measures to that end in the context of the dual track approach.
- The Ministers, noting its importance, expressed their support of promoting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and maintaining Afghanistan’s unity and territorial integrity, including successfully executing the forthcoming parliamentary elections and for continued improvement of the electoral process, governance, civilian capacity and human rights issues. They noted the need for a more regional approach by engaging Afghanistan’s neighbours and continued engagement of the international community to assist the Government and people of Afghanistan in regaining their livelihood, and the reconstruction and rehabilitation of their country under full Afghan ownership.
- Ministers congratulated Pakistan on the adoption of the 18th Constitutional Amendment as a positive step towards strengthening parliamentary democracy. They expressed confidence that it would contribute towards good governance and human rights, electoral reform, sustainable development and countering extremism and terrorism.
F. Next ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting
- Ministers agreed that the 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting will take place in Brunei Darussalam in 2012.
PART II: REVIEW OF ONGOING CO-OPERATION
- The Ministers reviewed EU-ASEAN co-operation programmes and activities aimed at enhancing overall Dialogue Relations and supporting the ASEAN integration and community building process by 2015. ASEAN greatly appreciated the EU’s assistance and support for the period 2007-2013, around €70 million for ASEAN and €1.3 billion for development and poverty-reduction to individual ASEAN Member States, thus helping to bridge the development gap in the region. Noting that EU integration was much further advanced, the Ministers encouraged EU to share experiences with ASEAN on regional integration. In this regard, they welcomed the study visit of the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives to Brussels and Berlin now planned for the later half of 2010.
- The Ministers also underlined the importance of strengthened region to region co-operation in the trade area (outside the framework of the FTA negotiations) on issues such as negotiating capacity of ASEAN, exchange of experience on regional integration and capacity building on technical trade issues for the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Member States.
- In addition, the Ministers noted the progress made in the implementation of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) which provides opportunities for both sides to strengthen co-operation in non-trade areas. They noted, in particular, the growing number of dialogues, including information society, climate change, energy, science and technology and the recently launched dialogue on disaster preparedness. The Ministers encouraged relevant senior officials to intensify and expand dialogue in different sectors. They looked forward to the launch of the new READI facility in 2010 that will provide additional resources to underpin such dialogues.
- The Ministers assessed experience so far and agreed that the successful implementation of co-operation programmes depends, inter alia, on two factors: a) the absorption capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat and b) an effective ASEAN-led donor co-ordination process to make sure that contributions from all partners are used optimally. The Ministers tasked relevant officials to follow-up speedily on these issues.
Political and Security Co-operation
- The Ministers noted the initiative of the EU to establish a regional Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centre of Excellence in South East Asia, to promote a regional approach in the field of CBRN risk mitigation, facilitate the exchange of expertise and best practices, and enhance the CBRN safety and security culture.
- The Ministers committed to promote greater collaboration in addressing non-traditional security issues. In this context, ASEAN noted with appreciation EU support through the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme which aims to develop a more efficient border management system in ASEAN Member States as well as combat trafficking of persons and illegal migration control. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to promote co-operation in combating other forms of transnational crime such as illicit drug trafficking, terrorism, arms smuggling, international economic crime and cyber crime, money laundering, acts of piracy and robbery against ships.
- The Ministers agreed to enhance co-operation on food and energy security between ASEAN and the EU. Global demand for food is expected to significantly increase by 2050, much of this extra demand coming from developing countries, where population growth is fastest. But more unpredictable rainfall and sea level rise in some regions due to climate change could strongly challenge our ability to meet this increased demand. Developing countries are amongst the most vulnerable in terms of long-term food security given low incomes, often poor nutritional status (especially of women and children) and the impact of price volatility on affordability. Thus, the Ministers agreed to promote open trade in staples and other food products; to put greater emphasis on improving nutrition; and to support greater cooperation exploring alternatives to conventional energy resources through, among other things, the development of renewable energy sources, while taking into account the potential impact on agricultural land for food crops. In this context, the Ministers expressed support for the realisation of commitments of the G8 Summit in L’Aquila 2009 and the Declaration of World Food Security 2009 as well as the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework.
- On developing alternative and renewable energy resources, the Ministers encouraged greater efforts to create a favourable investment climate, co-operation in R&D technology transfer and capacity building. They recognised the urgent need to pursue low-carbon technologies and green economy solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change. They welcomed the ASEAN-EC Energy Work Plan which was adopted at the 2nd ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Energy – EU Dialogue on 14 May 2009 in Chiang Mai, Thailand as the implementation framework for the ASEAN-EC Energy Dialogue. They also stressed biofuel sustainability, energy efficiency and energy security as two key issues in the ASEAN-EU energy relationship.
- The Ministers noted similarities between the development of the single EU aviation market and the planned single ASEAN aviation market by 2015 and expressed their interest in exchanging experiences in this field to the mutual benefit. Ministers agreed therefore to enhance EU-ASEAN technical and regulatory co-operation in the air transport sector in areas such as air traffic management, aviation security, aviation safety, environment and economic regulation. They expressed interest in exploring scope for more comprehensive co-operation in the area of civil aviation between the EU and ASEAN.
- The Ministers stressed the importance of increasing availability and improving the quality of statistical data as an essential economic management tool. They therefore welcomed on-going co-operation efforts in this direction between ASEAN and the EU in the area of economic statistics.
- The Ministers welcomed the reinforcement of the bi-regional policy dialogue in the field of research between the ASEAN Committee of Science and Technology (COST) and the European Commission. This dialogue provides a solid framework for co-operation in many areas such as food, agriculture and biotechnologies, health, information and communication technologies, marine sciences, renewable energy and climate change. In that respect, Ministers noted with satisfaction the results of the 1st ASEAN-EC Dialogue Meeting on Science and Technology which took place in Vientiane, Laos, on 20-21 May 2010.
- The Ministers welcomed the setting-up of a co-operation framework in the field of civilian use of satellite navigation systems, and expressed their willingness to promote the involvement of their relevant institutions and organisations. They encouraged in particular the establishment of a permanent EU-ASEAN collaboration centre on civilian use of satellite navigation systems.
- The Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and the establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA centre). The Ministers also welcomed the launching of the AADMER Work Program. The Ministers noted that a stronger dialogue and co-operation has been initiated between the ASEAN Secretariat and EC’s Directorate-General on Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) in order to further enhance ASEAN’s disaster management and humanitarian assistance capabilities. This co-operation will be further facilitated and strengthened by the Regional READI facility.
- The Ministers welcomed intensified co-operation between the EU and ASEAN on disaster risk assessment, early warning, risk reduction and disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation, especially in light of the Climate Change challenges in the ASEAN region. This co-operation will further intensify with EU’s support for the implementation of the AADMER Work Programme 2010 – 2015, including the establishment of the AHA Centre as part of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint.
- The Ministers agreed on the need to remain vigilant and proactive vis-à-vis emerging infectious threats, in particular highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and pandemics. They noted the outcome of the International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, from 19 to 21 April 2010, which commended the ongoing efforts of countries in tackling HPAI and pandemics and at the same time noted the continued threat of HPAI. The unprecedented global mobilization against HPAI had helped strengthen the capacity of ASEAN Member States to prevent and respond to health risks emerging at the interface between animals, humans and environment. Moreover, the investments made since 2005 in pandemic preparedness had considerably facilitated a smooth response to the A/H1N1 (2009) pandemic.